Hoare CAND auction offers Jack Lavis token collection

By Bret Evans

Tokens will dominate the numismatic portion of Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ Jan. 29, 2017 sale, being held in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers annual show in Hamilton.

The tokens, coming from the collection of collector and dealer Jack C. Lavis, are extensive, covering the era from the French Regime to post-Confederation. It includes Lots 95 and 96, a pair of rare blacksmith tokens. Considered contemporary counterfeits, blacksmith tokens received their name because it was once claimed they were created by a blacksmith to support his drinking habit. They are known for small flans and poorly struck images, often in mirror form of the original token.

Lot 95 is a Warehouse/JB in script, BL-31, About Fine and estimated at $1,200; while Lot 96 is a bust left and Britannia facing right, BL-38A2, VG with a tiny clip and some verdigris, estimated at $2,000.

There are also five lots of jetons – French counting pieces used as a medium of exchange.

Lot 81 is an example of the Thomas and William Molson token on a thin flan with a reeded edge, Br-562, VG, estimated at $1,000.

There is a run of countermarked tokens, including many from Devins and Bolton, Montreal. The firm placed their mark on a variety of coins during the early 1800s, including Bank of Montreal tokens, and United States large cents. There is also a small selection of Canadian and world coins.

The sale also includes selections from two significant collections the firm has been selling over several sales.

One is the R.D.W. Band collection, focused on Indian Chief medals and early Canadiana. Among these is Lot 200, a Canadian General Service Medal, 1866-70 with a clasp Fenian Raid 1866. It was awarded to Pte. W. Lambier of the Dunville Rifle Company. Described as VF, it is estimated at $500.

Lot 223 is a pair of Canadian Egypt Boatman medals. During the Egyptian campaign of 1882-89, the British military enlisted the aid of Canadian voyageurs to operate transports on the Nile River and its tributaries. These medals are an Egypt Medal, 1882-89 engraved 18 Boatn J. Tuo-ra-ka-ron, Caughnawaga. Det., and the other is a Khedive’s Star, 1882-91 unnamed but dated 1884-6. The name Joseph Tiorakaron appears on the medal roll book. The pair are estimated at $4,800.

The auction also includes selections from the collection of Warren Carroll.

Carroll, who died in 2015, was a long time collector of all types of Air Force material. He not only collected but also researched extensively. He was contract as an historical accuracy consultant by movies and was often consulted by museums to identify insignia and equipment.

He shared his knowledge by writing in journals and magazines as well as authoring two books Wings Canada and Great Britain 1913-1945, published in 1981, and Eagles Recalled: Air Force Wings of Canada, Great Britain and The British Commonwealth 1913-1945, published in 1997.

“Carroll was an acknowledged expert in the realm of Canadian and British Commonwealth air force insignia,” Mrs. Hoare said.

Lot 423 is a bronze Aeronautical Society of Great Britain medal presented to W.R. Turnbull, who studied in Canada, Germany and the United States before working for Edison Lamp Works. He went on to become an aviation pioneer in Canada. Not only did he build the first wind tunnel in Canada, in 1902, but he designed an operational variable pitch propeller, first tested in 1927. The variable pitch propeller allowed the angle of the blades to be adjusted for more power during take-offs and landings, an innovation still used to this day on some propeller-driven aircraft.

Turnbull was awarded the medal in 1908. In 1976, 22 years after his death, he was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.

The First World War medals include Lot 259, a 1914-15 war and victory medals impressed Spr. T. Pow; a 1914-15 star impressed Spr. J. Pow, and a memorial plaque embossed John Pow.

Both brothers were born in Scotland and later moved to Canada.

Thomas Pow was killed in action on Apr. 28, 1917 while serving with the First Field Company, Canadian Engineers. John Pow was killed in action on Aug. 3, 1916, also while serving with the First Field Company of the Canadian Engineers. The lot of four pieces is estimated at $400.

Lot 357 is an officer’s gilt and silver cap badge from the South Alberta Regiment, with Scully Ltd,  maker’s mark on the back, estimated at $140.

A highlight for the cloth badge collectors is Lot 367 a triangular badge with curved top in green with red letters 1st Bn/Dufferin & Haldimand Rifles Canada. A seldom seen piece, it is estimated at $380.

“I’m pleased that this first sale of 2017 has something in it for every type of numismatic and militaria collector,” Mrs. Hoare said. 

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